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Producers and consumers lock arms at the Philadelphia Flower Show
Where would we be without the art of our business? Indeed, the science has to work and the financials have to work even more… but the element of design is what separates our gift items from all others. It’s our marketing angle, our uniqueness and our point of differentiation. Welcome to the Philadelphia Flower Show, where the consumers revel in the art of the industry, side-by-side with the artisans!   {igallery id=7496|cid=417|pid=1|type=category|c... Read more
The Inside Look...
I don’t know of any month that’s more action-packed than April! The month of April fills the gap between Valentine and Mother’s Day… it contains a major holiday of its own-Easter — and it’s jam-packed with the most important secondary holidays of the year! Of course, April is also the ramp-up to Mother’s Day which pulls up the rear of our big Spring holiday season! Didja’ know that the month of April is named after the Greek goddess, Aphrodite? In the Roman calendar,... Read more
All about the Easter lily:  purity, hope and life
It’s fascinating how particular plants become associated with certain holidays and seasons. The Easter lily with its gorgeous, fragrant white blooms has come to symbolize the Easter season. However, few people know how these flowers came to play their part. Have you ever thought about where they are from or how they got their name? Easter lilies, native to the Ryukyu Islands of Japan, were introduced to the Bermuda island in the mid-19th century when General Russell... Read more
The duality of Easter celebrations: secular and religious
Easter is celebrated on Sunday, April 21 this year. Easter is celebrated in both religious and secular ways. The Christian aspect of the holiday, which includes church services, is often combined with visits from the Easter Bunny and hunts for dyed Easter eggs. The holiday holds cherished traditions that bring joy and provide continuity from one generation to the next. For many, it is a profoundly religious holiday that honors the resurrection of their Savior. ... Read more
Master a spring makeover without breaking the bank!
Winter is almost behind us and the hustle-bustle of the season is propelling us into the profitable Spring holiday season — the springboard of our total-year’s financial success! After the slow-down of post-Valentine week, we’re pursuing new ideas to remodel and refresh our departments. But because the slow-down has put pressure on the balance sheet, it’s incumbent upon us to find new, low-cost ways to invigorate and delight our customers.         ... Read more
I am the Earth. You are the Earth.
Earth Day is Monday, April 22. Arbor Day is Friday, April, 26. Valentine’s Day is important to lovers. Mother’s Day is important to mothers. But to whom is Earth Day and Arbor Day important? Earth Day and Arbor Day should be important to all of us in the floriculture industry, and especially important to those of us who promote the plant and garden products, which add environmental goodness to the earth. Earth Day is celebrated in 192 countries to bring awareness... Read more
Earth Day: The Power of the Plant
“The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for” — Ernest Hemingway Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, is the perfect reminder of the natural beauty of our planet. Flowers are not just beautiful; they promote a healthy ecosystem, serve as a food source, and nourish their surrounding environment. Flowers appear on plants, which themselves are beneficial to our ecology and environment. Flowers attract insects and birds that serve as pollinators for the plant itself.... Read more
Dozens lobby Washington for four key industry issues
When Karen Fountain, AAF, of Flowers ‘n’ Ferns stepped into the office of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) on March 12, she was ready for a challenge. Earlier this year, Kaine joined with 30 senators to introduce a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024 — an increase that Fountain said would devastate her retail shop in Burke, VA. “I showed him real numbers from our store — our costs, our profits — and walked him through how this kind of change would... Read more
That ONE big Easter fear: ‘How do I get this Easter lily to re-bloom next year?’
We’ve all been there. The customer has an Easter lily in-hand and just as she’s ready to buy, she locks eyes with ours and asks, “How do I get this Easter lily to re-bloom next year?” We start searching for words. Why? Well, we know that our growers have nurtured our lilies with their unique expertise and have “forced” the lilies to bloom early in greenhouses where temperature and light are strictly controlled. Now, we’re ready to send our lilies out to the wolves...... Read more
Kool Logistics expands service
Kool Logistics, LLC, a logistics services company based in Nashville, TN, opened a new, full service office in Los Angeles. The tremendous growth in specialized services offered by Kool Logistics propelled the company to expand in the West to increase their focus on West Coast shipping opportunities. According to Michael Orr, general manager for Kool Logistics, “We work closely with our carrier partners to strategically place them in markets to alleviate shortage.... Read more
The history of the Oriental Lily
Easter and Mother’s Day are the ultimate days to celebrate with gorgeous, dramatic Oriental lilies. Arcata, California is renown as the birthplace of the legendary Stargazer Lily in 1974, by Dr. Leslie Woodriff. This is the most popular lily of all time and holds a prominent place of honor in floriculture history. Early on a recent morning, I posed the question to Lane DeVries, the chief executive officer of Sun Valley, “What came before Stargazer?” This question... Read more
How is Arbor Day different than Earth Day?
Arbor Day is a special day set aside throughout the world to raise awareness of trees and the substantial role that they play in our environment. People celebrate Earth Day in many ways that call attention to environmental and natural resource issues. Both holidays began in very different ways for causes that were important in their time, almost a century apart. Today, their origins are as crucial as ever, and both have come to emphasize the end goal of improving... Read more
How do I select the right network of suppliers?
In years past, the majority of retail leaders played the part of adversarial “boss,” and suppliers played the role of humble subordinate. Today, the greatest leaders must formulate multi-channel partnerships — up, down and across — in order to achieve successful dynamics within an organization. Optimal results can no longer be achieved by simply holding the sole position of power where all decisions are made at the apex. German scholar, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe... Read more
The ultimate guide to Administrative Professionals’ Week
Administrative Professionals’ Week is on Wednesday, April 24, and always falls on the last full week of April. Although it’s not a public holiday, Administrative Professionals’ Week is celebrated widely in workplaces across the world to highlight this sector of the workforce. admin-dayThe first National Secretaries Week was organized in 1952 in conjunction with the United States Department of Commerce and various office supply manufacturers. The Wednesday of that... Read more
Captain Marvel –  Deflect and Defend!
I recently went to see the movie Captain Marvel and was astounded by her ability to save the planet, and her super powers that included flying and deflecting anything that came her way with a raised arm in her magic suit! I started to think, are there Captain Marvel’s in the workplace? The answer is yes! During my career, I have worked with people that I thought had superhuman powers as extraordinary leaders and managers and I will remember them for the rest of... Read more
Wedding simplicity — the ultimate sophistication
A wedding doesn’t have to be expensive to be memorable. While retails for an average wedding ceremony have reached an all-time high of $27,000., there are many ways in which a savvy florist can offer a quality, classic wedding menu to minimalist brides. Think about it. If the average cost of a wedding is $27,000, then there are thousands of simpler weddings taking place each year in the price range of $15,000 to $25,000! How many of those available dollars can... Read more
What’s up with helium... or ‘what’s down,’ should we say?
There’s nothing that deflates holiday profits more than the lost revenue of balloon sales. But if helium is the second most abundant element in the universe… and it is… then, what’s the problem? While helium is abundant in the air, very little is available on Earth, itself. Both hydrogen (most abundant) and helium (second-most abundant) are too light to be held by gravity, as we see when we watch a balloon soar into the sky. Consequently, the only helium we use... Read more
AFE Board Members go to College (Station)
AFE held this year’s February Board of Trustees Meeting in College Station, TX. The group visited Texas A&M, where AFE has awarded over $800,000 in research and educational grants. Currently, AFE is supporting research at the university on consumer preference and is funding a new study at the Human Behavioral Lab. The Human Behavior Lab is the largest biometrics lab in the world. The Trustees experienced part of the new study from the Floral Marketing... Read more
New association formed to unite California nursery industry
Members of California’s nursery industry recently announced the formation of a new organization to be known as the Plant California Alliance.   The new organization has been formed to unify two organizations — the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers and the Nursery Growers Association. “Plant California Alliance was created to advocate for nurseries, horticulture and the California lifestyle,” said Clayton Smith, who will serve as the organization’s... Read more
Words are free, but how you use them can cost you!
Indeed, the mind is a wonderful thing! It starts working the day you were born, and never stops until you get up to speak in front of your CEO.   What started out as a vision of a mic-drop moment at the end of your presentation, ended up as a 30-minute blur — standing in a pool of perspiration. Who hasn’t been there? None of us are born great public speakers but learning how to present to senior executives within your company will have the biggest impact... Read more